Deployments whether sudden or expected are never convenient. They challenge us to grow in ways that we never imagined our families could grow. One of the best tools I have used in parenting and to keep the momentum up during a deployment has been with deployment counters. While we must stay flexible to changes, the counter will also stay flexible and give a general idea of progress which helps the days go by. For children it makes it more visible and tangible that daddy or mommy is returning home, and as the days get shorter on the calendar then we know it’s going to be soon! Here are some fun and crafty ways to do your own deployment count-down.
Also be sure to check out the special deployment counter giveaway we have this month from Stick With Me Vinyls at: Giveaways or at the bottom of this article.
I’ve mentioned it before, but during a long remote, the regular counter became overwhelming at first. The blessings jar did the trick. We fill a jar with blessing marbles or stones and each night say 1-3 things we count as our blessings. At the end of the deployment we have counted “up” a multitude of blessings!
Tried and true deployment counter.
This one is made by Stick With Me Vinyls of Wasilla, AK
It features days until on one side and weeks until on the other- for a variety of deployment situations. My daughter has enjoyed flipping the blocks to get to the right day- ever closer to daddy being home!
Kisses & Moments
This next idea is wonderful, especially for school aged children. It comes to us from Oursevendwarfs.com.
The first part is each day the child gets a “kiss” from daddy/mommy. Then they can place special momentos in the box to later tell their mother or father about items or experiences that meant alot to them while they were gone.
Countdown Tree by Amanda Telesco
This next one is beautiful for the home, and would be fairly easy to make. Find a rod iron tree and tie yellow ribbons on it, one for each month they are gone.
Then at the end of the month, take the ribbon off to mark the end of the month until no ribbons are left and they return!
Events for Kids
A visual deployment calendar that is all about milestones by Singing In The Rain blog. This is just too cute and is great for younger kids!
Instead of numbers and days, track the milestones such as holidays and trips until they see mommy or daddy again.
Simple & Cute
This simple and elegant countdown is great because it is easy enough to put your favorite photo in a frame and features “my mommy is home” for all our female veterans as well as a “my love is home” for those without children.
They are brought to us by Thelittlebrownboot on Etsy.
Sweet Nothings, Sweet Memories.
This next idea comes also via Singing In The Rain from a blog titled Beautiful In His Time.
It is a beautiful daily calendar where you print out sweet sentiments, photos or memories of your deployed member for each day.
What a wonderful way to make a deployment more memorable and uplifting!
Across The Miles
The blog So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler has a fabulous 90 day count-down chain!
The key is to stay flexible with it, add chains if needed but roughly about 90 days out begin the countdown. Younger kids will love the anticipation and enjoy making the links.
Pictures Say A Thousand Words
Our last idea of the roundup is certainly not the least! It comes to us from SomeCanterburyTales blog and is a wonderful idea.
Take a photo of yourself and your kids with signs saying the month of the deployment that is done, then you can send to your loved one or add to a scrapbook.
Possibilities are endless, you could use on Christmas cards or make a photo collage for when the deployment is over!
Do you have a favorite countdown idea? If so, leave your idea in the comments below!